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    Wow, this couldn’t have landed in front of me at a better time. An email hit my inbox this morning from a local technical college where I serve on an IT advisory committee, asking me if I’d like to come in and talk to the students about my job. I was leaning toward politely declining, but now I’ll have to reconsider.

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      I spent some time teaching with Big Nerd Ranch, and learnt so much from the students. They all come from very different backgrounds, as people and as programmers, and offer different perspectives on everything from the course material, what they’ll do after the course, why they’re in the room with you and what they think of the catering.

      There’s an adage, misattributed as a quote to various scientists, saying that if you can’t explain something, you don’t understand it. I’m not sure that’s true but there is a different form of understanding that comes from fitting a concept into someone else’s worldview.

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        Due to the nature of teaching (one to many) not everyone is needed to teach, so I don’t vibe with the “teach or GTFO” mentality, nor do I think everyone is obligated to be an educator.

        If one in ten of us rises to the occasion we’ll be just fine.

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          Teaching is a good way to verify one’s own understanding. Explaining something can (should) involve more effort than passively learning it. Unfortunately some people like to jump straight to the teaching, without the learning, which is how we get these silly “everything that’s stupid in unix” posts that are regrettably popular. We’d all be better off with fewer such “masters” around.

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          Teaching does not always feel rewarding. It doesn’t need to be. It is a repayment of something that was done for you. It is not a good thing that you do; it is an obligation that you have. If you are not preserving and expanding your trade, then you are a leech, and you do not deserve to prosper in it.

          Can relate and very much agree with this.

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            Part of what drives me to keep on writing.